The noise about annexation, more or less, is reaching toward a climax.
July 1 is supposed to be the date.
Discussions proceed in Jerusalem and Washington, with arguments in both places.
And holding fire are the Palestinians, Jordanians, Arabs of the Gulf, American Jews, and others, all with relevant opinions.
Why do it?
It should be clear to one and all that Israel’s border is the Jordan River, even if that is not declared as such. And that the large and scattered settlements are Israeli.
To make declarations may begin a war, or a commotion by Palestinians and their friends, or the breaking of diplomatic relations with Jordan and setting back linkages with the Gulf.
Will it be worth it?
Is there really a chance of pushing–via annexation of something–the aged Palestinian leadership to awake from its sleep since 1967 and to bargain for something?
Or are the Palestinians and their Jordanian relatives stuck firmly in the past, with no likelihood of moving toward anything?
And if annexation won’t push them, why bother?
For Israeli right wingers, it will be a natural way to express their nationalism. Some believe that God gave it all to us.
But at what cost that will come from an official declaration?
And with what accomplishments, except for themselves? And those almost entirely of the spiritual kind; with considerable cost in soured relations or even bloodshed?
Will Bibi ratchet down from promises to nationalize some 30 percent of the West Bank, along with the Jordan Valley? And satisfy himself with taking some small portion of the West Bank, without the Jordan Valley?
There’s speculation that he’ll do a small and symbolic annexation, but what will be the benefits and the cost?
Will even a small annexation cause serious violence from Palestinians, and a rift with Arab governments, along with liberal Jews here and elsewhere?
And there’ll remain the wish among his faithful for something more.
And how will Bibi move down from something big to something small? Or to nothing at all?
There is a party dispute about the issue, but it’s not all that clear. Likud is supportive, even without a map revealed about Bibi’s intentions. Blue and White is reserved, with some of its Knesset Members opposed. The party’s Minister for International Affairs has opposed annexing the Jordan Valley.
The out of government Yamina, led by Bennett and Shaked, hasn’t made a clear declaration of how much annexation it supports. Likewise, the ultra-Orthodox parties have not taken a clear position.
JStreet is firmly opposed, as are a number of other liberal Jews in the Diaspora.
The American government wants an agreement between Bibi and Gantz. Lacking that, it has been quiet with respect to an endorsement for annexation.
Gantz has proposed to postpone annexation indefinitely, and to deal now with the problems of Coronavirus and its economic consequences.
It’s all part of what bothers us at the present time.
While we’re not debating annexation, we turn our attention to Coronavirus.
Along with a spike of Coronavirus cases, to more than 600 infections identified on a daily basis.
There’s talk of reinstating widespread closures. Already there’s been a declaration of limited closures, along with opposition from the neighborhoods to be closed. The ultra-Orthodox are claiming discrimination against their neighborhoods.
There are proposals to reduce attendance at weddings and other functions, including prayers at synagogues. Some beaches will be closed during the peak day hours. It’s been difficult to find agreement in the government for these proposals.
There’s been agreement to set limits for weddings, bar mitzvot, and other gatherings, changing according to the dates, and differing from one observance to another.
It’s all confused and confusing, and not likely to be enforced.
The summer is probably lost, as far as international tourism is concerned.
Israelis’ infections have gone too high for its tourists to be accepted in Europe. In this trait, Israel is in a category with the US, Russia, and Brazil.
Concerns are expressed about the winter, and the convergence of regular flu with an upturn in Coronavirus infections. And the preparation of hospitals, with deficiencies in space built up over the years of neglected investments.
A true mess, or set of messes.
Republished from San Diego Jewish World